What are the symptoms of Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder in which people stop breathing for brief periods of time while they are asleep. If left untreated, sleep apnea can cause significant health problems and even death. It is important to be aware of the symptoms of sleep apnea so that it can be diagnosed and treated promptly.
The Top 3 Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
The three most common signs and symptoms of sleep apnea are
- Extremely Loud Snoring
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Pauses in breathing while sleeping
Extremely loud snoring is the most commonly reported symptom of sleep apnea, resulting from the vibration of tissues in the upper airway due to obstruction. Excessive daytime sleepiness can be caused by a lack of restful sleep.
Some have a more subtle issue with waking up more tired every day. Pauses in breathing, known as apneas, occur when a person stops breathing for 10 or more seconds at a time. Apneas can result in reduced oxygen levels and lead to further complications. Other symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Headaches upon waking
- Waking up with a dry mouthMorning sore throat Difficulty focusing and concentrating
- High blood pressure
If you or someone you know experiences any of these symptoms, please consult a doctor for further diagnosis and treatment.
Sleep Apnea Treatments for How to get Unobstructed Sleep?
There are a number of treatments available for sleep apnea including lifestyle changes with diet and exercise, oral appliances (see our interview with Dr. Natasha), CPAP machines, Sleep Devices and surgical options. Making simple lifestyle changes such as avoiding alcohol and smoking before bedtime can help improve symptoms. Additionally, using an oral appliance or device to keep the airway open while sleeping can also be beneficial.
For some the Snore Circle 4300 it targets sleep apnea and for some works great. Always consult a Dr. before starting any treatment of sleep apnea. Sleep tests from Dr.'s can pinpoint the best path forward so make sure you do everything the Dr. says.
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Dental Options and Testing
Dentists are able to prescribe oral appliances which can help treat mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea. Additionally, your dentist or doctor may recommend that you take a polysomnography (sleep study) test to diagnose the severity and type of sleep apnea that you have. This is a highly overlooked area so ask your dentist if you have more than 1 symptom and reach out to Dr. Natasha from our interview here.
What to do If you Have Type 2 Diabetes
For individuals with type 2 diabetes, there are some additional risk factors that may increase their chances of developing sleep apnea. Some of these risk factors include being overweight or obese, having a large neck circumference, and having a family history of sleep apnea. Additionally, if you have high blood pressure , it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea. Consult a physician to find the right treatment and check out some different professionals we've interviewed by clicking the YouTube button below.
When do I see a Sleep Dr.?
If you experience any of the above symptoms or if your sleep partner notices that you stop breathing during sleep, it is important to seek medical advice from a qualified doctor or sleep specialist. A qualified doctor will be able to diagnose what type of sleep apnea you have and what treatment is best for you.
In our interview with Dr. Val we saw she helps women specifically who are one of the most undiagnosed audiences for sleep problems including apnea. Things that can be increasing anxiety or when a woman goes through hot flashes. She has a wheel to diagnose the sleep issues for targeting appropriate treatments.
Sleep apnea is a serious condition that can have serious consequences if left untreated. It affects people of all ages, genders and backgrounds. If you or someone you know experiences symptoms such as excessive daytime sleepiness, pauses in breathing, headaches upon waking, morning sore throat, difficulty focusing and concentrating and irritability it is important to seek medical advice from a local Dr. or one of the one's we've interviewed based on your specific age and stage in life.
Image curtsey of Nick Youngson